The #MeToo movement began with activist Tarana Burke in 2006 but was popularized by actress Alyssa Milano, from Charmed and Who’s The Boss in 2017. The surge in popularity came soon after many sexual abuse allegations came out against Harvey Weinstein from famous actresses like Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and more. Survivors then took to Twitter after Alyssa called for them to share their stories.
The ‘Trend’ in Survivors Coming Forward
The reason people are coming forward at the same time with their own stories is that they feel empowered by someone else’s. Why would they lie when each story is met with torment, accusations and blame? For instance, in the US Christine Blasey Ford reported Brett Cavanaugh attempted to drunkenly undress her many years ago and has since been sent death threats. Most death threats sent online usually don’t hold as much weight. Since billions of people tend to just blurt out curses and threats every day while hiding behind a computer screen. Despite this, they take online bullying just as seriously. This is since it is much easier to find out people’s data in 2018.
If you look at my Snapchat, you will see me spending my Friday night at home. Then, if you look at my Spotify you can pinpoint exactly which generic Top 40 song I am listening to…Or you could use my social media for much more nefarious reasons. Such as finding my workplace, mobile number and home address if my social media is public- this is why when celebrities have their addresses posted frequently online by paparazzi take all forms of death threats to heart.
So please answer me why anyone would make a false sexual assault claim when they will most likely be publicly humiliated, further harassed or even killed rather than the slim chance their rapist is actually arrested.
Terry Crews’ #MeToo Story
This social stigma around the survivor that blames the victim instead of the rapist is one of the reasons that 83% of sexual assaults go unreported. Try telling me it’s their skirt. Try telling me it’s their legs. Try to tell me victims of assault should have fought back when celebrity Terry Crews has his own #metoo story, despite being built like a brick wall, which- and I cannot stress this enough- is still not his fault.
The above is an image of Terry Crews’ front and back topless. No copyright infringement is intended but you have to see this image.
Terry’s story was shared to billions on Twitter in seconds in a several part thread explaining how a Hollywood Agent groped him for ten seconds during a party. As a celebrity, Terry’s voice spread further than the everyday survivor. Soon he was speaking to senators and attending interviews that newsagents uploaded to YouTube. The #MeToo story went viral and Terry’s fans called for his abuser to be taken down like Weinstein and jailed. Many stood with Terry but he still received his own threats and online bullying by strangers in the comment section for speaking his truth. This is probably why only 63% of rapes are reported.
The above video is Terry Crews’ statement of his own #metoo experience and below are screenshots of the viewers’ comments and reactions.
However, most people’s sexual abuse stories even with today’s technology don’t go viral and their attackers aren’t publically ostracised. Most predators stay regular members of society without anyone thinking any less of them.
Do you know why that is?
Breaking News: Most People Don’t Believe Women!
This news isn’t nearly as shocking or breaking as the media claims. Every day women face discomfort in the workplace or other daily situations. For instance, a hand brushing too low down your back as someone squeezes past you. Similarly, your employer making lewd comments under the guise of a compliment. Abuses of power between men and women at a workplace often leave women excusing this behaviour. Yet when you brush it off it only escalates to more behind closed doors. Akin to what happened to many men and women in the #metoo movement. This is why it’s so hard when victim-blamers ask why you didn’t just say outright scream ‘no’ in their faces or start throwing punches at your fifty-year-old manager.
The below is an animated Youtube video. This is a story about Illy where she humorously narrates her own tale of harassment at her workplace.
WARNING: It contains one curse word.
Now, if you’re a man who is reading this -feminist or not-you will be thinking about Brett Kavanaugh. The ‘falsely’ accused of rape US Judge who. And since these sorts of things happen a lot (they don’t) I bet you’re scared of this happening to you.
I have some advice that may not be easy to hear which is, in fact, to suck it up. You’re scared of a false rape accusal? I am scared of rape. I would trade places in a heartbeat when the statistics of being falsely accused are 2-10% and the statistics of being actually attacked are 20% for women.
So, instead of responding to our painful stories of fear for yourselves, I recommend a different approach. Stand with us. As heartthrob actor Idris Elba said, the era of the #metoo movement is “only difficult if you’re a man with something to hide” so instead be an ally and listen to the women that tell you someone’s making them feel uncomfortable or that someone took advantage of them. Trust that their fear is legitimate but you can still lessen it by taking their side.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) December 16, 2018
To see more visit my Twitter @feminist_tired where I’ll let you know when I next post here and give you further information!